The University of Alberta is heavily invested in the Mexican energy sector, working on initiatives that range from research and innovation, to graduate education and short-term professional development. UAlberta’s energy initiatives in Mexico are focused mainly in the areas of Hydrocarbons, Renewables, and Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS).
Future Energy Systems is a research initiative at UAlberta made possible by a $75 million grant from the Canadian Government’s Canada First Research Excellence Fund. Future Energy Systems develops the energy technologies of the near future, examines their integration into current infrastructure, and considers their social, economic, and environmental impacts.
UAlberta’s Future Energy Systems and the Mexican Ministry of Energy (SENER) have been developing collaboration in renewable energy through the Mexican Centres of Energy Innovation (CEMIEs), which are networks composed of Mexican industry, government and university representatives, helping Mexico reach its potential in renewable energies.A joint research workshop on bio-energy was held in Mexico in 2018.
In 2017, UAlberta was named as a recipient of 3 large grants from the National Commission for Science and Technology (CONACYT) SENER Hydrocarbon Fund for a total of approximately 212 million pesos. The funded projects bring together UAlberta energy experts with their Mexican counterparts to find solutions to specific technological challenges faced by PEMEX, Mexico’s largest and most important energy operator, as well as address Mexico’s gaps in capacity building and human talent formation. The three grants were awarded in the following areas:
- Reservoir and Oilfield Geomechanics for Mature Fields and Unconventional Reservoirs
- Industrial Transformation and Heavy Oil Refining
- Capacity Building and Talent Formation in Mexico’s Oil and Gas Sector
Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage
UAlberta’s experts in geological storage of CO2 are focussed on a large-scale project that will help the Mexican Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) modernize their geomechanical laboratory that will allow them to execute tests concentrating on reservoir geomechanics. This same research group is also currently involved in Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES). They are focussed on assessing the feasibility of compressed air energy storage (CAES) in salt caverns integrated with other renewable energy sources, namely wind and solar power systems, in western Canada. This project aims to find the optimal use of these technologies to address energy supply and demand challenges in Western Canada. It is further anticipated that the project findings will be beneficial for developing energy storage solutions for remote communities and industry in Northern Canada, as well as in Mexico.